Cookbook spotlight: MOB Kitchen

Have you heard of MOB Kitchen? If not, George Boatfield tells us why these unique chefs are great for students.

George Boatfield
15th March 2020
Image: Dan Gold on Unsplash
It began with celebrity chefs on TV, but the always-available nature of online cooking guides is almost spelling out the end for traditional cookbooks. And yet, for MOB Kitchen, one of the most vibrant creators of online recipes, their greatest success perhaps lies in their recent expansion into more traditional formats.

Presented under the idea of “Feed 4 or more for under £10”, MOB Kitchen and MOB Veggie are the newest books from a company that normally works via video, but this is a natural extension of how they have built an audience so far.

I’ve been part of the so-called ‘MOB’ for the better part of a year. This is just a fancy way of saying that I follow their social media pages, but this community-building banner is all collectively part of MOB’s speciality: their branding. It paves the way for interactions on social media - namely Facebook and Instagram - that have ensured their platform for video recipes is strong.

Each recipe is accompanied by a Spotify QR code

The videos draw in users with slick production, as each recipe is presented in under a minute via a timelapse of sorts. This compliments the frequent rate at which they put out these fantastic recipes. If I’m struggling for a dish idea, lo and behold, there’ll be one waiting for me as I scroll through my Facebook news feed. Similarly, their frequent Instagram stories keep their followers in the loop about behind the scenes goings-on and sneak peeks into upcoming recipes.

This almost spells the end of the cookbook, much as online recipes generally seem to have done, but MOB doesn’t leave any stone unturned. And while they do forgo their signature videos in these books, the branding remains in more than just the imagery - each recipe is accompanied by a Spotify QR code to provide the soundtrack to the cooking, adopting a similar vibe to that of the videos.

But I’ve got a confession to make: I have very recently strayed from the cooking guidance of MOB. They currently offer no dessert recipes, and I was in dire need of some brownies - I’m sure you can understand. Fortunately, their recent hiring of a new chef promises to bring along sweeter options.

Now they're bringing out pre-made shopping lists that will get you everything you need for a week's shop for under £20

With that said, their vegetarian and vegan options are excellent, and I've ended up making a few of them as I work my way through the cookbooks. It’s always handy when you're wanting to rustle something up for vegetarian friends and there’s a whole tome of recipes waiting to be looked through. A highlight of the vegetarian range came in the form of brunch tacos. Tangy radishes pickled in red wine vinegar compliment the feta eggs nicely, and the black beans, onion and guacamole work well to diffuse the powerful flavours with a milder affair.

Now, they’re bringing out more physical media with their student hack sheet, which is available via student unions (including NUSU) to be printed at home. This contains pre-made shopping lists that will get you everything you need for a week’s shop for under £20. The recipes included in the hack sheet work with the ingredients on this shopping list, and other cooking tips guide students as they begin to cook away from home.

While MOB hasn’t accompanied me with my cooking ventures all through my time at university, it’s certainly helping me now. If you're struggling to find a reliable source of cooking advice and recipe ideas, MOB Kitchen might be worth a look, regardless of which medium you might see them in.

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